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FYI Guy

Seattle Times news librarian Gene Balk crunches the numbers

Topic: Census

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March 27, 2014 at 4:37 PM

Census: King County booming, but some state counties dying off

You might call it a “tale of two states.” According to estimates released on Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau, King County enjoyed remarkable population growth for the year ending July 1, 2013, ranking among the top four large counties in the nation for both the rate at which it added new residents and for the…

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0 Comments | More in Demographics | Topics: Census, migration, population

February 24, 2014 at 6:00 AM

Seattle growing faster than suburbs, first time in 100 years

It only took 100 years. Census data show that for the first time since 1910, Seattle is growing faster than its King County suburbs. Nobody could have guessed, back in 1910, that suburban growth would soon outpace the city’s. At that point, Seattle’s population had exploded, nearly tripling over the previous 10 years. But since then, the…

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0 Comments | More in Demographics | Topics: Census, population

January 17, 2014 at 11:15 AM

Income inequality: How bad is Seattle?

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At her inauguration to the Seattle City Council, Kshama Sawant spoke of a divided Seattle — a city of “glittering fortunes” for corporations and the wealthy, but also a city in which the lives of the working poor and unemployed grow increasingly difficult.

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Volta, new luxury apartments in Belltown, stands in the shadow of the low-income housing project, Bell Tower. (Photo: Gene Balk/Seattle Times)

Sawant’s speech echoed the “tale of two cities” campaign theme of another newly-elected progressive politician — New York City mayor Bill de Blasio.

While the magnitude of income inequality in New York — and especially Manhattan — is notoriously bad, you don’t hear nearly as much about it in Seattle.  So how do we compare?

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0 Comments | More in Government Data | Topics: Census, income

December 20, 2013 at 10:30 AM

Census surprise: Seattle the most affordable big city for renters

Units at the new Nolo Apartments in Pioneer Square average $2,200 per month

High rents in Pioneer Square: Units at the new Nolo Apartments average $2,200 per month (Photo: Nolo Apartments)

How bad is the plight of the Seattle renter?

As reported in The Seattle Times, spiking rents have forced many tenants out of their neighborhoods, or out of the city altogether.

But as dire as the rental situation is here, new data suggest that it could be much worse.   In fact, according to a commonly-used indicator of affordability, renters in Seattle are faring better than those in any other major U.S. city.

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0 Comments | More in Demographics | Topics: Census, Renters, Seattle

September 27, 2013 at 12:10 PM

Seattle overtakes San Francisco as No.1 city for gay couples

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Move over, San Francisco.

Seattle now has the highest concentration of gay-couple households among America’s large cities.

Recently-released estimates from the Census Bureau show that in 2012, 2.6 percent of Seattle households were gay couples.  That is the highest percentage among the 50 most populous cities in the United States.

San Francisco, which had held the top spot since the Census Bureau began counting same-sex couples in 2000, ranked second with 2.5 percent of all households.

It’s a sharp reversal from previous census estimates.  In 2011, San Francisco had 2.4 percent gay-couple households to Seattle’s 1.7.

We are still No. 2 to San Francisco, however, for the percentage of gay-male households.  But Seattle claimed the top city for the percentage of lesbian couples by a relatively wide margin.  With lesbian couples making up 1.2 percent of households in 2012, Seattle was the only large city to exceed 1 percent.

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0 Comments | More in Demographics | Topics: Census, gay, sexual orientation

June 12, 2013 at 1:19 PM

Census: King County increasingly dominates state’s population

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This may come as unwelcome news to voters in other parts of Washington: King County has even more weight to throw around in statewide elections now.

The county’s share of Washington’s population rose from 28.7 percent in 2010 to 29.1 percent in 2012, according to recently released data from the Census Bureau.

Not only has King County increased its presence in Washington — it’s also crossed a major population threshold: the county hit the two-million mark in 2012.

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0 Comments | More in Demographics | Topics: Census, king county

June 3, 2013 at 12:55 PM

Census: Redmond has largest daytime population surge in U.S.

Microsoft campus in Redmond (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Microsoft campus in Redmond (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

If Microsoft’s sprawling, 125-building campus in Redmond seems like a city unto itself, that’s because it almost is.

As the cubicle-dwellers arrive each morning, Redmond’s population bulges to more than twice its size.  In fact, newly-released Census data show that Redmond has the greatest spike in daytime population due to commuters, measured by percent increase, among all U.S. places with at least 50,000 residents.

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0 Comments | More in Demographics | Topics: Census, population, Redmond

November 17, 2012 at 7:00 AM

Gay marriage and Eastern Washington: What’s wrong with this picture?

Ref. 74 map: One of these things is not like the other…

Everyone knows by now that same-sex marriage in Washington state was affirmed by popular vote — but the vote was a lot more popular in some parts of the state than others.  Most Puget Sound counties voted in favor of gay marriage, while the rest of the state voted against it.  The geographic divide is abundantly clear on the Washington Secretary of State’s Ref. 74 results map.

And yet, there’s something funny about this map.  Way over on the eastern edge of the state, amid a vast sea of yellow rejection, a lone patch of green approval stands out.  What is that place?

Meet Whitman County.

So why there?  Ref. 74 went down in flames in the rest of Eastern Washington.  What’s different about Whitman County?

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0 Comments | More in Demographics | Topics: Census, elections, gay

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